New leadership team takes the helm at the Brooks Center

From left, Thomas Hudgins, Sarah Edison and Eric Lapin.
Image Credit: Ashley Jones / Clemson University

CLEMSON — As Lillian U. Harder steps down from her role as director of the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts later this month, three members of the performing arts department and the Brooks Center have been named to the new leadership team and will take the helm July 1.

Sarah Edison, Brooks Center coordinator, will become the director of outreach and operations and will oversee production and community outreach efforts. Edison received a Bachelor of Arts degree in production studies in performing arts (theatre concentration) and a Master of Science degree in parks, recreation and tourism management, both from Clemson. Before returning to the Brooks Center administrative staff in 2013, Edison served as an intern in the Brooks Center production office during the 2011-2012 season and worked at Productions Unlimited, Inc. in Greer and the Children’s Museum of the Upstate in Greenville. She has been heavily involved in outreach efforts for the Brooks Center’s Eskridge Tri-ART and Family Series, and has provided support for the University’s STEAM network. Edison was also an active member of the Clemson Players, the University’s student theatre ensemble.

Thomas Hudgins, director of marketing and communications, will become managing director. He will oversee artist booking, fundraising, patron management and public relations. Hudgins previously served as Brooks Center coordinator from 2011 to 2013, and earned degrees in history and public administration from Clemson. As a student, Hudgins was a member of the CU Singers, the CU Men’s Choir, mixed-voice ensemble Viva Voce, all-male a cappella group Impulse and the Clemson Players.

Dr. Eric J. Lapin, lecturer of music, has been named director of artistic initiatives. He will oversee grant writing, assist with marketing and consult on artist selection. Lapin, who began working at Clemson in 2009, will continue to teach courses in applied clarinet, arts administration and jazz history. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in clarinet performance from the University of South Carolina and a Ph.D. in higher education leadership from Clemson. He is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, the College Music Society, the National Association for Music Education, the Jazz Educators Network and is an honorary brother of Kappa Kappa Psi. Lapin has presented papers at numerous conferences, hosted research exhibits and published scholarly essays. He also serves as a delegate to the Clemson Faculty Senate and is on the University STEAM committee.

Harder will remain involved at the Brooks Center, continuing to book her signature Lillian and Robert Utsey Chamber Music Series, offering support for print publications and speaking to performing arts classes.

“I have truly loved serving as director of the Brooks Center for 21 years, and I have been so fortunate to have a fantastic team and loyal patrons,” Harder said. “Having worked with Thomas, Sarah and Eric, I have the utmost confidence that the transition will be seamless because Thomas and Sarah have worked side by side with me for several years, and Eric and I have participated on several projects together. These three young professionals have excelled in their jobs at the Brooks, and I am thrilled that they are being given the chance to advance. I look forward to their continued accomplishments.”

“I am so excited to work with our new Brooks Center leadership team next year,” performing arts department chair David Hartmann said. “Thomas, Sarah and Eric each possess a distinctive skillset, a passion for the arts and a love for Clemson’s unique performing arts program. The future is indeed bright here at the Brooks Center.”